Monday, September 21, 2009

Crafty Crow's awesome giveaway!

http://belladia.typepad.com/crafty_crow/

Perfect giveaway for the upcoming holiday season!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Happy Happy Joy Joy

My friends and family have been blessed lately and I thought I would share the good news. Happiness is contagious and I am sure that we could all use a little bit of that everyday.

1. My sister-in-law and brother are pregnant!!! Check it out here.

2. My friend who is a wonderful writer had another publishing! You can find the link on her blog.

3. We went to the Wild Animal Park to see the butterfly exhibit and a butterfly actually landed on the top of my head and hung out there for quite some time. The boys squealed with delight.

It's a family affair

Basically, if it has wheels and the ability to go fast, then it is welcome in our home. My boys ages one and two are already riding on skateboards. I am excited as this is something we all have fun doing together as a family, but a little concerned as to where this will take them as they get older. Perhaps I should start working a little bit faster on getting my nursing degree. I see a lot of sprained body parts in our near future.

Either way both boys are very excited (thank you Grandma) and even have insisted that they sleep with their boards. I have insisted that they NOT sleep with their boards, but instead, find a special spot to leave their boards for the night and when they wake up they may put their helmets on right away (no hair brushing required before) and carefully WALK around the house until it is time to go. Thank goodness we replaced the original single pane, non-tempered windows in the house, all twenty-three of them. This is going to be a very fun spring/summer. I love watching my children as they learn and navigate new experiences in life.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Did you know...

I just recently learned of Pandora. Have you heard of this? Did you know you can also download it to your iphone? I have been dying to listen to some new music. You know, shake things up a bit. Maybe, even possibly be hip to the music scene again. Not that there is anything wrong with knowing all of the latest and greatest in preschool music out there, but sometimes a person just craves an adult sense of self that includes a musical repertoire beyond childhood classics. I am really excited about this find. It makes me wonder what other wonderful things are happening out there that I don't even know about.
We are a television free family here. Yes, you read that correctly - television FREE! We love it and we have internet to offset the need for news and/or the occasional indulgence of an ABC show that you can watch for free online. There is just much to much out there that I don't want my little ones exposed to, but sometimes I miss the boob tube and it's endless possibilities of crappola to stifle my creativity and brain and just let me veg out into the nothingness of a good sitcom. Of course Netflix does help with that too. The benefits for our family far out way the costs of cable, but I still can't help but wonder if I am missing anything out there?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Summer of 69 Thrift Store Refashion Frock GIVEAWAY!!!!

Summer of 69 Thrift Store Refashion Frock GIVEAWAY!!!!

This is such an inspiring post. It makes me want to break out my sewing machine and just go for it. Click on the link above and check it out.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Paper Crane Frock GIVEAWAY!!!!

Paper Crane Frock GIVEAWAY!!!!
Isn't this dress just lovely? If you click on the link above you too can enter to win this darling dress. Good luck!

Farmer in the Dell

Don't you just love the Farmer's Market? It has become our weekly ritual to pile the kids into the bakfeits. Grab our reusable bags and ride on down to the Market. This week my bicycle basket was just begging for flowers to adorn it. I thought that these were perfect. I don't know the name of these flowers, but I heart them. The boys and I smell them every time we pass by them in the house and each time they say...mmmmm...smells good, Mom. And they are right. Heavenly to look at and to smell. Of course the fresh produce and delightful homemade specialty food that they have to offer is wonderful too. Organic and locally grown, really, what more could you ask for. Here is part of our dinner from the other night using fresh produce purchased at the market.


If you get the chance to support your local farmer please do so. It is better for you and better for the environment. Plus it is great fun trying all of the free samples. Yum...it's like Costco's free samples only better.
I had to show you this one last picture. When you peel an orange do you ever try to get the whole peel off in one try? I sometimes do and as I peeled this orange in one shot I discovered that it looked like a turtle. How funny is that!?! Just thought I would share. Too bad it didn't turn out to look like a famous person, portrait or religious figure as I could sell it on ebay and make my millions! HA!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Sunday Laundry Shirt Dress GIVEAWAY!!!!

I heart this dress Sunday Laundry Shirt Dress GIVEAWAY!!!!

So sorry I have been away for so long. I have been concentrating on my health. My acupuncturist is a miracle worker and the high grade probiotics have been working! I am feeling much better and able to return to my daily activities and exercising. I just put the exercising in there for good measure, because aside from chasing babies and going for walks to the coffee shop I have not been exercising at all. I will be back soon with more posts and inspiration. Did you know that March is spring cleaning month?? Apparently last month was decluttering and organizing and I seemed to have missed that memo. Oh well...there is always next month.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Anthropolification Boyer Cream Cardi GIVEAWAY!!!! GIVEAWAY!!!!

Anthropolification Boyer Cream Cardi GIVEAWAY!!!! GIVEAWAY!!!!

I am in love with this cardigan. I see myself wearing this to my ritual Thursday library morning with my boys.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I've hit a brick wall

I started this post, in fact deleting the first paragraph of it, to blog about the 'I hearts'. So many lovely, beautiful things to talk about. Romantic flowers, heart breaking photography and a plethora of clothing that I would love to own, curiously enough most of the items had darling details of buttons. I also happen to have a new obsession for accessories. How come nobody ever taught me how to accessorize and buy these items to complete an outfit? But I digress, I need to be honest. I need to focus my attention on myself, my mind and my body. Most importantly my body. I am acutely aware of twinges, cramps, pains and any unease in my body that may signal my auto immune disease is actively attacking my body. A nasty little thing it is that has caused me multiple hospitalizations and surgeries. Before hand, before I had two little boys that I am privileged to take care of and go by the name of Mom to, before all of that, it was just a major inconvenience. A hinder to my now husband, then fiance. He is a trooper, Mr. C, that is. A godsend for me. My knight in shining armor. But now, I have these amazing little babes and I don't have time to waste in a hospital. My youngest babe is still nursing round the clock and I fear the medications that the doctor's will place me on. These medications by the way rarely work on me. I generally require surgery to place me back into remission. So, I sit here praying, crossing my fingers and damning this disease away. I am hoping at best that I am currently suffering from the bouts of flu and virus's that have been plaguing everyone I know. It is time to up my vitamins and say, hello, to the acupuncturist. I am hoping to be feeling back to my old energetic self within a couple of days. Time will tell. Until then, I need to find a babysitter for my appointments and some inner strength of peace. Stress will only escalate the problems. Yoga, meditation and walks on the beach are my new themes. Good bye refined sugars...hello organics.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Conservatory Overcoat GIVEAWAY!!!!

The Conservatory Overcoat GIVEAWAY!!!!

I heart this coat and love the photos that she took with her husband that day.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Oh Brother


As in my brother sewing machine which looks very similar to the one I have pictured above. I received this lovely sewing machine from a certain Mr. C. who happens to be the love of my life and fulfills most of my every whims, including my desire to learn how to sew. My poor dusty sewing machine has been set aside for months now, since mid-December to be exact and I finally found the courage and time to sew a little project on it. This was as simple as simple can get, though I did use a very fancy stitching for my project and am quite pleased with myself and my sewing machine. My simple Valentine's day project found below was just what I needed to gain some confidence in myself and renew my passion for sewing. I feel a succession of late night sewing rituals beginning. Now if I could just figure out how to finish cutting my pattern for a bag I would be all set.

These are the little 'bean' bags I made for the boys for Valentine's day. Quick and easy. I didn't have any beans on hand so I used couscous instead and found it to be a great substitute for the beans. I dropped in a little bit of peppermint extract to get rid of the whole-wheat smell that was really not very pleasant to the nose. Peppermint is supposed to be soothing right? So this means the boys will hopefully not be throwing these bags at each other, right?

A sneak peak at some more Valentine's day fun and it is off to finish knitting Mr. C's scarf.

Valentine cookies. Delivered to neighbors and friends with home made cards. Our Valentine's day buffet.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Here comes the sun...

We have been having bursts of rain followed by sunshine these last couple of days. It has made for some great rainbow catching weather. Reef loves to go rainbow catching after he saw his first one a few days ago. It also has been giving me the chance to wear my favorite pair of rain boots. They are bright pink with white polka dots and ever so cheery! Just what is needed on a cold, blustery, gray day. I love them because they go with nothing and everything all at the same time. Plus it makes for great puddle jumping contests.
Our wintry weather has had me busily baking in the kitchen. Fresh made bread. Check. Cute valentine cookies made with pink frosting from scratch. Check. My husband tested them out for me this evening as they are a new recipe and we are going to be giving them out to friends and neighbors. He actually said, "they taste like love." Just the effect I was going for since they are for Valentine's day and all. I swear that man says just the right thing, at just the right time. A well paid, sincere compliment is a highlight of my day. I am going to make some more cookies and dip them in chocolate and while I have all of this ooey, gooey, chocolatey - I am in heaven - goodness just laying there, in a bowl, begging to be eaten, I might as well make some chocolate dipped strawberries and cherries. I think they will be the perfect accompaniment to our Valentine's day bags.
Pictures of said bags to come along with the cards the boys are making to be attached to said bags.
In case you were in need of a good bread recipe. Here it is adapted from soulemama.

WHO Bread

(makes 1.5 lb loaf, set to 'basic' with medium crust)

1 1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons butter @ room temperature
1 tsp salt
3 cups of flour (we do 2 cups unbleached white, 1 cup whole wheat pastry)
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (or, one package)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

love

I am in love with Elizabeth Allen Atelier fabrics. She just opened up the most delicious store about two blocks from me and I could just sit in her store all day. Beautiful fabrics (some on clearance for only $5.00 and beautiful to boot) lovely bedding and lots of fun other treats. If you are in the La Jolla area you have to check out her store. As you can see I picked up some lovelies and these were all the clearance fabrics! I am beyond excited! I am sorry for the bad picture, but the lighting was bad and I couldn't wait to post about my treasure find. You can check out Elizabeth Allen online too.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Vday Spirit

Here we are into February already and we have decided we need to get into the Valentine's day spirit. We are busy making lots of goodies. Pics of those are to come. For now we have some pretty heart garland decorating the house.
We also decided that we needed to make these cupcakes topped with fresh picked strawberries from Carlsbad. These local strawberries are amazing! The best I have ever had. Makes me want to grow my own strawberry patch.


We are going to try to do a hand made Valentine's day this year. Do you have any great ideas you would like to share? I will hopefully be sharing some completed projects with you soon!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

10 things I am loving right now...

Drum roll please.........
1.This amazing OWL sweater. I am going to be tackling this as soon as I have learned all of the necessary knitting techniques. I will be practicing as soon as I finish my husband's scarf. He casually reminds me about ten times a day how we would really like to wear this scarf while it is still cold.
2.Bento lunches. Just one of many sites.
3.Fresh made bread. I use to make all of my bread from scratch, but now with my two little ones we use our bread machine together instead. The smells are heavenly. Here are two recipes we are trying out this week.
4.Glen Hansard-really enjoying his music and accent. Must be the Irish in me.
5.This most awesome bicycling jacket. I one day would like to make one for my husband who bike commutes over thirty miles a day.
6.Bitty Button Cookies. I think they might be the perfect little treat to give to our neighbors for v-day.
7.This zippered pouch tutorial. Now I can finally make my own make-up bag. I am embarrassed to say that I have been using a ziploc sandwich bag ever since my old one was destroyed beyond use or repair.

8.Lunch dates with my sweet Grandma.
9.This wonderful post by my sister-in-law. Pretty much sums up how I feel.10.The little humming bird that has taken up residence in our tree and made the most adorable teeny-tiny nest I have ever see in person. It really is lovely.
So....what are you loving?

Positive Progression

It's my latest in favorite terms, courtesy of my Dad.
Positive progression
.
pos·i·tive (pz-tv)adj. Measured or moving forward or in a direction of increase or progress.
pro·gres·sion (pr-grshn)n. The process of progressing; progress. Movement from one member of a continuous series to the next.
My closet, the boys closet, the hallway/linen closet, the bath room cabinets and drawers and my knitting all fall under the category of positive progression. Let me clarify that I am not known for my organizing skills, but absolutely adore and crave organized space. So here I am doing best and conquering my house and new hobbies slowly but surely. In the past I would give organizing my best shot and remove all items from whatever area I was tackling, sort, throw away what was no longer needed or donatable (is that a word?) and reorganize, only, it never went back in organized. It was still a mess, or a system that was not functional and would quickly return to the disaster area it once was. After finding inspiration online, through magazines and friends I have finally started making progress. My closets that I have recently organized are still that way! Woohoo!!! I am also happy to report that my knitting is coming along very well and although I have had a few mishaps, I am making progress. My sewing....well let's not talk about that right now.
How are your closets or your entire house for that matter? Happily cluttered but you know where everything is more or less, or neatly organized and labeled? Any tips would be great.



Monday, January 19, 2009

Week two.
You might recall that in a previous post I started my 52 week challenge. I am finding this to be a bit more difficult than I had originally expected. I am thinking that a tripod is a necessary accessory if I am to get more creative with my camera. We shall see. I have a few ideas running through my head of some staged photos I would like to take that involves moving around some furniture, children-free, during the day with natural sunlight basking through our two walls of windows. Will this come to fruition? Only time will tell. I must learn to use my flash correctly without great lighting, because I think my chances of taking any staged pictures is going to come sometime after 10:00pm. Hmmm....


A quick little drive to wind n sea.
On a side note, we have been enjoying our sunny weather and taking advantage of a near empty beach to go with it. Summer weather in the non-tourist season...ahhh...let the sunshine in. I don't think that I could ever permanently live somewhere that was not close to the ocean, I begin to feel claustrophobic. The other night we took our boys to watch the sunset. Reef often requests this. I think he might take after his Mama. It was the ultimate in relaxing. Hushed voices, vibrant hues of orange, followed by subdued yellows with a hint of red. Rolling waves that spoke to me, a reminder to take the time to breathe a little in my hectic day, the smell of the top of my sweet little ones head and the chirping of crickets. A ten minute little block of meditation with mother nature. I need this and often.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Lunch Date Blouse GIVEAWAY!!!!

A few months ago I stumbled across grosgrain. I love, love, love her designs. She also happens to be giving away this amazing blouse which is a must have in my opinion. So feminine and flirtatious. I love it. Click on the link and check it out!
The Lunch Date Blouse GIVEAWAY!!!!

pound, pound, pound

My creative juices are not flowing today. My brain feels fried...literally. It could be due to the fact that our oven had reached dangerous levels of nasty crud, spilled cheese, etc and I was forced to turn the oven on to its cleaning cycle for four hours today. Luckily I live somewhere where it was 70 something degrees outside and the open windows are welcomed. Back to the fumes, it smelled highly toxic in this here house and gave my head something to ache about. Pound, pound, pound, my sweet boy so lovingly pounded his hammer to the rhythm of the pounding in my head. Jacob just pounded on me literally and so my creativity has been fried, pounded, reduced to nothing today. I figured to lift myself out of this funk (as a nap is not an option) we are to charge ahead with good deeds today. It is the surefire way to make one feel better about ones self. We bought diapers to donate to a needy cause that our lovely neighbors are taking donations for, but I still feel like I need to do more. So tell me, anybody out there need a good deed brought their way, or some cheering up, we like to cheer people up. I can send you a note, a package, help unload your groceries the possibilities are endless...
Help me - to help - you to help me, selfish? in a good way.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Making plans and taking action


The boys and I have been talking about our upcoming party. You know the one on January 20th, the big inauguration. Reef has decided we need to get some red and blue balloons to celebrate and we have a great template to print out to make the necessary cupcake toppers. After all, what is a party without cupcakes and balloons? Our household is very excited and proud of our country. A change is what is desperately needed right now. I can feel a current running through our nation, through me. I feel that this is the year of change, growth, awareness, awakenings and release from the illusion of control. I am letting go of the oars people and learning I do not have to fight my way against the flow. This is the year and we are excited to celebrate!

I have been thinking about Valentine's Day lately and would like to get a head start on making some fun decorations, cards and gifts. I use this day as a fun way to celebrate our family. While I do not think we need a day to tell us that we should say, "I love you" to the people we love in our lives in a commercialized way, I do enjoy taking the time to think about all of the people whom I am grateful are in my life and to find creative, heartfelt ways of letting them know.
Growing up in my family, Valentine's day was always a fun holiday. My mom would cook my favorite meal-fondue, french fries, corn and bread. Followed by a chocolate cake. The table would be set beautifully with little thoughtful gifts at each place setting and candy. My Dad would get the "You Are Special" plate at his place setting, reserved for only the most important of occasions. So I have a fondness for Valentine's day and look forward to sharing it with my boys (hubby included). Do you have any Valentine's day traditions?

Oh, I almost forgot to add that I am going to try to make these cards this year and this lolly pop project looks like great fun. If you find any great links or have a craft/card that you would like to share, please post them in the comments section.

Friday, January 9, 2009

10 things I am loving right now...

I have to so much to be thankful for and am finding great joy, peace and happiness in the little and big things right now. Here are a few things, or 10 to be exact, that I am currently loving in the moment.
1.The 52 week self portrait flickr challenge. Here is my first shot. No makeup and hair so bad that a hat is a must. True typical rushed morning attire for me. I especially love this challenge as I truly have very few pictures of myself. It will be an interesting process to see how I change over the course of a year and how my photography style can become more creative and polished. I yearn to know my camera so well that it essentially becomes an extension of me.
2.The necklace in this picture is the second thing I am loving right now. It comes from Lisa Leonard Design and is my most favorite fun piece of jewelery to wear. Best part is that it goes with almost everything I own. It really is a beautiful design. Here is a better picture taken from Lisa's website.


3.Have you been to SouleMama's blog yet? She is one of my favorite blogs to read on a daily basis, but I have to say that her latest endeavor with Caps to Cap-Haitien is by far one of the most inspiring ideas to date. This is all about hand made love and making a small, but impactful difference in other's lives from one Mama to another Mama. This is the kind of movement that I can really get behind and support. A truly good for the soul way of being.

4.Ahhh....coffee. Bird Rock Coffee Roasters is hands down the best cup of coffee you will drink. The best part is that they buy all of their coffee organic, fair trade, support independent farms and are an independent company themselves. For all the fou - fou coffee drinkers out there, they have you covered too. Tea lovers...they have a great selection and I highly recommend a Moroccan mint tea latte. Can you say liquid vacation? I think so. I love my cup of joe.

5.Stubby pencil studio. I love all of their art supplies, but I have to say that the water color pencils are definitely a running favorite in our home. Even the husband is getting in on the action. I forgot to mention another great reason to love this company. They are eco-friendly!

6.Sunshine even in the winter. I appreciate when we have rain, crisp air and the change of the trees-ours is bare right now, but I am happy to have the sunshine as a constant in our lives. We love playing outdoors.


7.Don't you just love all of the vibrant colors? Sewing thread. Inspiring creativity one stitch at a time.

8.Homemade jam on some freshly made bread. It is the perfect second breakfast. Around here my boys require at least two if not three breakfasts. A friend made us the jam and we are so thankful for her sharing it with us. I think next year we may attempt to make our own. Supremely delicious.

9.Bike rides to the farmers market where we all pick out fresh fruits, vegetables, salsas and the required kettle corn. Taste testing is my favorite part.


10.The World Famous San Diego Zoo. We arrived at the Zoo when they first opened and were lucky enough to watch the flight of the parrots. The boys are so excited to observe the animals and I love hearing Reef talk about each animal, the noises they make, comment on their sizes and ask questions. I learn something new each time I visit the Zoo.

What are you loving right now?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

You challenge...I accept

I have decided to take the 52 week challenge. A years worth of accomplishment sounds good to me. I start tomorrow. I have always much preferred to be behind the camera rather than in front of it. I like the idea of this challenge, because it not only forces me to become comfortable in front of the camera, but will also give me a chance to play with my camera a little more and enjoy honing my camera skills.
Speaking of cameras, I am dying for a really great printer. A high quality, multi-functioning to many bells and whistles printer. Have you visited the MommyCoddle blog yet? You should. Not only is it a great read, but she has a high quality, multi-functioning to many bells and whistles printer on her blog that is worth a peek at. And the best part, she is giving one away for FREE. Holy Guacamole, people.

Lastly in my quick little post as only one babe is asleep and the other is telling me it is time to close my eyes, a picture from our late Christmas celebration with my brother, sister-in-law, niece, nephews and mom and dad and uncle mikey. Only a few pictured but the celebration was a great time had by all. Tree climbing - proof that it is not a lost art.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

new..

With the New Year came a whole new variety of new foods for my little one to explore and he is now one happy eater. I love how he explores his new food. First a full texture exploration by hand. A glancing of color, (you can see him looking closely to make sure that whatever it is-it is no where near the color of peas) a brush against the nose with a quick inhale and then lastly a tentative bite of his food. He will spit out said food as quick as a flash whether he enjoyed it or not. It will either quickly go back in his mouth to be rapturously inhaled, or thrown in my hair. Today we joyously ate the pear!
Pears...sweet, juicy and delicious. A new love of Jacob's as you can see for yourself.
He savored every bite and then proceeded to wipe the floor clean with his napkin. He takes after his Mama.

Our new favorite family activity is bike riding. We all share a love for it and our bakfiets allows us to travel with both kids in tow and a bucket full of groceries. Running around doing our errands has never been more fun. The little bike Reef is riding on is called a LIKEaBIKE, it is a two wheel bicycle that he has been riding for months now. Reef has the most amazing balance on his bike. At two years old he is able to ride down hill with both feet up, off the ground, and make a turn. He even goes off little dirt jumps. This little wooden bike is a true gem. If you have a little one I highly recommend it.
With the New Year comes new habits. I have to say that I absolutely adore this idea. Three times a week a picture is a posted of the simple every day moments and a description of the captured moment using thirty words or less. I need this kind of habit. I am starting my own habit this week and hope you will join me. This is the kind of habit I can get into...like reading, sewing, knitting, baking and sale hunting. Yes, I am one of those...hunters of sales.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Just a quick note

Carl is busy fixing my computer and I currently can NOT download any of my fun new pictures, hence, the lack of posts the last couple of days. Everything should be up and running tonight/tomorrow and I should be able to get back to posting. It's funny, if I can't post a picture, I feel like I can't write my post. Like a person who would not be able to talk if they lost their hands.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year!

What a year two thousand and eight has been for me. In some ways relatively peaceful and uneventful compared to years past, but personally, emotionally and relationship-ly it has been a year of learning and growth, as every year should be. I am happy to report that this is the first year in many years that my auto-immune disease has not affected my life in some significant way, which makes me thankful beyond belief.
I love the idea of the New Year, a time to make a clean slate, start fresh and anew, my mind races with new projects to accomplish, renewed energy where it was once lost and an all around optimism boost that we can all use on occasion.
to be cont'd...